Friday, September 19, 2014

First Foray into Mozzarella Cheese

We've been meaning to try to make mozzarella cheese for a long time now, but we've always been a little nervous to try.  Our milk is really expensive at $7/gallon *cringe* and we didn't want to waste any on an unknown quantity like cheesemaking.  But I found some liquid rennet at the local organic grocery store and bought it a few weeks ago.  Last night, after stumbling on a quick how-to, we took the plunge.  

It was super easy!  All we had to do was heat the milk, add citric acid (which I keep on hand for canning anyway), heat the milk some more, add the rennet, then heat and let it separate.

When the curds stuck together and there was clear separation, it was ready.

 We strained the curds out, added some salt to the whey, and heated the leftover whey back up to almost boiling.

We cut the curds into four pieces.  We ladled hot whey into a Pyrex dish, then Mr. B kneaded the curds in the whey bath. 

When they were hot throughout and stretched nicely, he lightly salted it and formed them into balls.  We put them in a lidded Pyrex bowl in the fridge.  

Tonight, we used that mozzarella with homegrown basil, local tomatoes, and homemade pizza crust to make two amazingly delicious deep dish margarita pizzas in #8 and #10 cast iron pans.  Yum!!

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